LInda
LInda
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Asked on Jul 22, 2013

Tomatoes

Sarah JohnsonBarbara Heun-PlochLInda
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Answered

What is munching on my Early girl tomatoes? I have no rabbits or squirrels that come in my garden because I have a fence and 2 big dogs .. Could a insect do this ? a big mouthed insect? lol
tomatoes, gardening
42 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jul 22, 2013

    could be a mouse or chipmunk...these can often squeeze through fences and are pretty stealthy when it comes to dogs etc. Mice are mostly nocturnal so unless Fido is on guard duty at 3 am, and he can spot very small things in the dark, you will not see them.

  • Darlene
    on Jul 22, 2013

    Mine would pecked to pieces. By Mockingbirds. How I stopped this. Was by hanging Tin foil from the cage

  • LInda
    on Jul 22, 2013

    KMS I didn't think of a chipmunk I had one last year that would hang around the pond ...I don't use chemicals except maybe dish soap every once in a while. I just came in looking for tomato hornworm but they are hard to find ! 8 tomatoes in about 2 days and only the ones that are riping Ugh !!! so what to do with a chipmunk ? s-ya no mockingbirds here in Littleton :) but I have those black birds but this is at night I am home all day and the dogs are outside a lot hmmm

  • Debbie Polson
    on Jul 22, 2013

    Tomato worms? They seem to manage to take a bite or two out of several tomatoes so maybe if several have damage on the same plant look for those.

  • Mina Black
    on Jul 22, 2013

    I had birds eating all mine . looks the same

  • Dean Peiffer
    on Jul 23, 2013

    possible crickets, snails

  • Sherrie
    on Jul 23, 2013

    I also have birds eating mine. I have tied tin cans across my garden to help.

  • Dianne Johnson
    on Jul 23, 2013

    You know those big roaches we have in the South? The big ones that fly? I left some tomatoes on the table on my porch. I went out later (after dark) to get them and discovered the tomatoes were being munched on. Holes all over them. I know it was roaches since they scattered when I turned on the light. I didn't normally have food on my porch and hadn't seen them. Called the exterminator!!!

  • LInda
    on Jul 23, 2013

    Georgia has some big bugs and snakes I remember living in Fort Benning Georgia Ekkkk !!

  • Caley's Culinaries
    on Jul 23, 2013

    I have seen my chickens get some and that is what it looks like so I think it is birds, but it could be any of those things mentioned above.

  • Myrna Engle
    on Jul 23, 2013

    One of the sneakiest pests is the turtle. They just take a bite or two. They sample everything. They bite cantelopes and watermelons down low under the line of sight. If you find a turtle he will need a new area since they will return quickly, for a turtle.

  • LInda
    on Jul 23, 2013

    No turtles or chickens but I did move the bird feeder to the front of the house and we will see :) Thanks :)

  • Pjm202982
    on Jul 23, 2013

    green tomato worms

  • Gail Salminen
    on Jul 24, 2013

    @LInda we had this problem last year, tomats not ripe yet here so may have it again. Believe it or not in our case the culprits for us were chipmunks. They even got at our apples in the tree. I actually saw them pulling a tomato to their den LOL. A fence doesn't keep them out.

  • Gloria
    on Jul 24, 2013

    To keep birds away you can also hang CD's. The extremely shiny side works wonders.

  • Leslie D
    on Jul 24, 2013

    You know those big halloween spiders that drop down when it senses motion? They work great to keep birds and squirrels away if you can find somewhere to hang it close by. It senses their motion, then quickly drops, and the critters scatter.

  • Gretchen
    on Jul 24, 2013

    When I worked at a vet, we had a couple of dogs who loved to eat tomatoes! One white dog came in with her fur all orangey- she had gotten into the garden and chomped every tomato she could reach. Could your dogs be hungry for veggies?

  • Tonie O'Rourke
    on Jul 24, 2013

    We have had chipmunks eat only the red tomatoes, so we have been picking them while they are sort of pink.

  • Wilma Fendrick
    on Jul 24, 2013

    Racoons or possums?

  • Judy
    on Jul 24, 2013

    I'm thinking birds....a fence won't keep them out & they can just fly away from the dogs....if the dogs bother them at all. Moving the feeder around front won't help since they already know where the tomatoes are. Try covering the plants/row with bird netting.

  • Sherry Phillips
    on Jul 24, 2013

    Turtles or birds?

  • James Austin
    on Jul 24, 2013

    I would bet on birds (Crows or Jays) but it could be squirrels, rabbits, possums, or raccoons..squirrels especially can find ways around fencing, and wait until the dog is distracted barking at the mailman...

  • Stacey @ 23 White Terrace
    on Jul 24, 2013

    Look for hornworm tomato bugs. They can be hard to locate because they are normally underneath the leaves and blend with the foliage, but you can normally see their droppings before you see them (little black pellets). Last year every time I had a tomato growing and be almost ripe, I'd go out the next day it is would be gone. They are about the size of your pinkie and very gross looking, but their horn is only ornamental, so they won't hurt you. Unless, of course, your finger looks like a tomato. ;) http://www.almanac.com/content/tomato-hornworms

  • Irish53
    on Jul 24, 2013

    slugs love tomatoes

  • Debbie Stanley
    on Jul 24, 2013

    The only thing we have had to eat our like that was a Tarpon (similar to a turtle). The are very sneaky and devour tomatoes.

  • Eyesdebo
    on Jul 24, 2013

    Caught a land turtle red handed eating mine once.....notice it's always the very lowest ones eaten?

  • Janice Wilmoth
    on Jul 24, 2013

    i agree with sherry we have a bite that looks like that on our tomatoes and they are turtles

  • Janice Weiss
    on Jul 24, 2013

    chipmunks get in and damage tomatoes or squirrels. My Christmas cactus has been eaten by squirrels recently.

  • Catherine Smith
    on Jul 24, 2013

    Looks like bird damage to me. Try setting up some stakes and attach strips of Mylar balloons or old CDs. Any thing that reflects or flutters has a tendency to keep birds away.

  • Frances
    on Jul 25, 2013

    Field mice maybe??

  • Melissa Gutilla
    on Jul 25, 2013

    I would say birds. That is what was getting mine and I went and bought netting to go over them and my strawberries. So far so good!

  • Erin G
    on Jul 26, 2013

    @LInda It could be slugs or snails? I'm not sure though, it would have to be REALLY BIG ones, or many of them. If it happened overnight, slugs & snails are nocturnal. Place some cardboard or plastic around them in the evening, then in the morning lift the plastic or board up & if there are a lot of slughs then you'll know that is the problem. A GREAT way to stop them from eating everything (they'll eat right through carrots, too) is sprinkle broken/crushed eggshells around the base of the plant (around the cage, too) then make sure none of the leaves touch the ground so they can't climb up from anywhere. That should stop them, they don't like to crawl over the sharp eggshells. If you can get rid of them from the garden, you can also create a border around the perimiter with wood ashes -- not many creatures will go through them, as with water (and slime) will create lye & it burns their skin (mice, too, apparently, possibly other critters as well). Good luck saving your tomatoes!

  • LInda
    on Jul 27, 2013

    Thanks everyone !! I discovered it was the crows last week when I had the feeders out they came by the dozens. I have since remove the feeder and they have not come back I did the eggshells and cd"s we will see I have new tomatoes ripening and I will know in a few days if it worked ..you all are great!!!

  • Adele Meagor
    on Jul 27, 2013

    Tomato worms! they are about 3 inch long, and fat do to all there gorging on your plants. look really close on the stems of your plants they blend in really good! and hand pick them off.

  • Connie Mar
    on Jul 27, 2013

    We had a tomato I thought would be ready to pick today when I checked yesterday, but this morning it was 1/3 eaten. I'm thinking raccoons, since they are in the neighborhood and it happened during the night. I've seen green tomato worms eat the stems, leaves and green tomatoes, but not ripe ones. Planting basil and marigolds around your tomatoes helps keep them away ...

  • Cindy Hughes
    on Jul 27, 2013

    I'm betting it was slugs. They have done the same to my strawberries.

  • Peggyphilpot@gmailcom.
    on Jul 27, 2013

    Paint Christmas ornaments (round glass or plastic balls) bright red. The birds will peck them and get nothing. When they see the red tomatoes they will leave them alone after the red ball experience.

  • Warren Searfoss
    on Jul 28, 2013

    I had the same problem one year .... I didn't prune my tomato plants and they fell over and as soon as they got ripe they were eaten... found out it was moles and voles once they are up high enough no problem.... there is also a natural repellent on the market.... a mixture of skunk urine and canine pepper spray around plants will keep the little critters at bay with out killing or putting nasty stuff in the ground water base. I use no fertilizer at all in my garden nor do I add mulch

  • Melissa Gutilla
    on Jul 29, 2013

    Just an update! The dang birds got 2 more of my strawberries through the netting now I'm thinking about propping it up some instead of strung across the raised bed.

  • LInda
    on Jul 29, 2013

    @Melissa Gutilla It was the black crows I removed the bird feeder and they have not come back if you can make a loop house with PVC pipe and the netting over it that might help :)

  • Barbara Heun-Ploch
    on Aug 12, 2013

    I have watched young Cardinals eating my tomatoes.

  • Sarah Johnson
    on May 28, 2014

    Exactly pesky birds that's why I am covering mine with a net called deer X found it at tractor supply

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